Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker believes Brendan Rodgers’ decision to play Sterling at wing-back won’t help in their bid to get him to sign a new deal.
The former Chelsea and QPR defender labelled the Northern Irish manager’s decision to play the England international out of position against the Red Devils as ‘peculiar’ and hinted that it certainly won’t help in their bid to tie him to a long-term deal.
‘’The set up [against Man United] saw Raheem Sterling positioned in a wing back position where he was ineffectual,’’ Parker wrote in his blog. ‘’Given that Liverpool are trying to convince him to sign a new deal, that seems a particular peculiar decision.’’
Is the decision to play Sterling at wing-back likely to have any effect on contract talks?
The longer the talks go on, the greater chance that excuses, such as the one above, will be made as to why he hasn’t put pen to paper yet. However, the obvious answer is no.
Sterling is a consummate professional who has likely been trained on more than one occasion to play a more defensive role, so would have been unfazed by the job asked of him against United at the weekend.
Although he would have no doubt liked to have performed better, the talk of him using that as an excuse for a move away from the club is just too unbelievable.
The focus on the contract situation may not be helping the club or the player in the run-in, but no decision needs to be rushed as the player still has a considerable amount of time left on his current deal.